1 man tent side by side review

It’s been a while since I’ve done a review.

A lot of my equipment reviews are lost in the ether of the now defunct Kit Reviews site.

I might have done these before, I might have not. I don’t think I’ve ever done a side by side comparison though...

Up for your consideration is the Jack Wolfskin Gossamer and the Hi Gear Soloista.

I was originally looking at a Snugpak Ionosphere after seeing a mate’s one. I really liked it but it was fairly new at the time and still pretty pricey.

I spotted the Jack Wolfskin which appears to be largely the same if not identical, save for some branding details.

Found one in a sale for 50 quid. An absolute bargain in comparison to the 160ish for the Snugpak.

This has been my go to mountain tent for years now. It’s robustly made with thick stitching and aluminium poles as opposed to fibreglass. Even the pegs are nice thick ones that are hard to bend.

As with all these sort of tents, it is not very big, but that’s the point. Upside is it packs small and is lightweight, downside is you’ve not got a lot of space in there. I’m 6’2”, I fit in it fine, but my pack has to stay outside. There isn’t really a porch to speak of. No where for your boots etc.

It’s also quite low to the ground, great when you want to be stealthy, no good for administering yourself when it’s raining outside. You aren’t gonna be sitting up in this tent and you’re better off getting dressed outside.

Having said that it’s fairly wide. At a push you could get two small adults in there. I’ve slept in it with my dog a few times.

With a fly sheet hydrostatic head of 4000mm, it’s kept me dry in some seriously bad weather.

I bought the Hi Gear one as a spare for when mates come up to stay and want to hit the hills with me. It was 20 quid from Go Outdoors. For that price you can’t really go wrong. I believe the same tent, or something very similar is also made by Gelert.

This thing is even smaller than the Jack Wolfskin, it’s like a coffin inside. It’s actually shaped like one. However, you get a bigger porch that could take a day sack and boots. All the same problems exist. You can’t sit up in it etc. But the bigger porch and side entry mean you could potentially lie on your side and cook next to it. Something you can’t really do with the Jack Wolfskin due to the entrance being at the end.

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The Hi Gear feels cheap in comparison to the Jack Wolfskin. Materials aren’t as nice, poles are fibreglass, stitching isn’t a patch on it. However at this price I can’t complain. It’s stood the test of time and I’ve had a few good nights in it out in the Lakeland Fells. The HH is only 1500mm but it still does the job.

It also packs a little smaller and weighs a little less than the Jack Wolfskin.

I keep having to remind myself that it was only 20 quid. It’s probably cost me less than a pound a night if you tot up all the use I’ve had out of it.

Either of these tents will do you proud if you’re after something really small and compact. It’s certainly a step up from just a bivvy bag. For hill walking, cycling, motorcycle touring, kayaking, or any other adventure where you want to keep weight down, these are both great.

The Jack Wolfskin is definitely the one to go for if you can stretch to it, it’s as good as tents that retail for 3 times the 50 quid I got it for. The slight extra space is also a massive win.

The Hi Gear does what it says on the tin and is not to be sniffed at for 20 quid. If you’re on a budget there is absolutely no reason not to get this one.

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I am interested as I need to buy a one man tent. Partial retirement is great and having seen the post-Covid B&B prices they can shove them. I shall see Scotland and stop where I want.
 
I want to know how many people you can get side by side in a one man tent.
 
Especially if you wait for a sale and get one for 200 quid rather than 450!
Absolutely. Paid £186 for mine a while back.

I also hadn't realised that it has a bit of a cult following and has loads of mods and hacks that people have done. Keep meaning to do some of them, especially the airflow one.
 
Absolutely. Paid £186 for mine a while back.

I also hadn't realised that it has a bit of a cult following and has loads of mods and hacks that people have done. Keep meaning to do some of them, especially the airflow one.
Have you used it in weather bad enough to get leaks through the main seam under the pole? Apparently it's an issue if the pole sleeve cover thing isn't used but I've never noticed it. Maybe I just didn't have enough rain.
 
Have you used it in weather bad enough to get leaks through the main seam under the pole? Apparently it's an issue if the pole sleeve cover thing isn't used but I've never noticed it. Maybe I just didn't have enough rain.
No - not really had it out in heavy stuff yet.

I intend to use the seam cover thingy anyway, so hopefully avoid.
 

Awol

LE
No - not really had it out in heavy stuff yet.

I intend to use the seam cover thingy anyway, so hopefully avoid.
My only criticism of it is that it was a bit fiddly (especially at midnight, high in the Pyrenees). A bivvy bag is isn’t that much smaller, but is a lot simpler.
 
My only criticism of it is that it was a bit fiddly (especially at midnight, high in the Pyrenees). A bivvy bag is isn’t that much smaller, but is a lot simpler.
Leaving the two end poles in and the inner connected to the outer makes things much simpler. Unroll, stick main pole in sleeve, 1 peg at each end, then 4 pegs at the 'corners' and then guy lines. The only fiddly bit then is getting the main pole vertical.
 
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Awol

LE
Leaving the two end poles in makes things much simpler. Unroll, stick main pole in sleeve, 1 peg at each end, then 4 pegs at the 'corners' and then guy lines. The only fiddly bit then is getting the main pole vertical.
I’d like to be able to practice, but my mad ex-wife stole mine.
 

OneTenner

LE
Book Reviewer
Hilleberg Akto would be my choice, not cheap but is still going strong and leak-free after ~15 years of varied use.
 
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